Whole30-Week Three

This week the Whole30 was second nature.  We know what we can eat, we plan ahead for busy times, and we enjoy what we are eating.  We don’t miss much.  Wine has been replaced with tea and we both wake up refreshed and full of energy. We have been experiencing so many NSVs and we know that the past few weeks have done great things for our bodies, inside and out.

We do not experience a 3 o’clock slump because our energy is consistent now that it is not tied to sugar.  This is huge for me because the kids need my attention and energy after their naps and I am no longer groggy or crabby, which is good for everyone. I can’t think of a time that I haven’t felt an afternoon lull.  I thought it had to do with digesting lunch, but the reality was that it had to do with what I was eating.  I am not getting more sleep at night, but the quality is way better since I don’t have sugar or alcohol in my system.

Reintroduction is on our minds.  We aren’t totally sure what we should do yet.  From previous experience, we know that we need to limit cheese in our diets.  We like yogurt, so I think that will be one of our first to try.  As for gluten, we’ve been cutting it out since the summer.  There are some things that still have gluten in them, but they aren’t things we eat everyday.  Many gluten free items use rice or corn instead, so we might need to try reintroducing those after dairy.

We are heading to Kansas to visit dear friends just two days after we finish, so we are going to try to make smart food choices and plan ahead. We know that we will be limited and we do plan to enjoy a few treats during the trip. Wine and beer will be reintroduced.  Personally, I know beer only upsets my stomach (gluten?) so that’s a no for me.  Wine has been hard ever since I had the boys.  I literally sneeze after a sip of my favorite Cab Savs.  More investigation to do, but wine will be coming back into my life in a moderate amount.

Soy is officially out of our lives.  Nothing good comes from soy.  We have become pros at reading labels and soy is in everything.  This means we are committed to eating less pre-made or processed foods, which is healthier anyway.  Beans are questionable.  If they don’t bother our stomachs, then they can return, on occasion.  We really only eat them with chili or in burrito bowls.  They have some inflammatory properties so we will be investigating those further as well.

I have been loving It Starts with Food. I am learning so much.  A big lesson for me is that I cannot out run my food choices with working out.  Eating healthy is the secret.  I have always been active and I find exercise to be stress relieving.  In college, I felt like I could just eat whatever I wanted and just work out.  Now, I know that is the wrong way to think.  There is no way to work out enough to undo what I ate.  This Whole30 has taught me that the food you eat will change your body.  Obviously, we need to balance working out with eating right, but I’ve been amazed at the transformation we’ve seen without working out as much as we should.

When I started this I fully expected our weekly food budget to be higher.  However, with no eating out, cooking fresh, and no processed items, our budget has been lower.  Shipt has also been a game changer.  No impulse buying. I get just what we need.  I do two shopping requests each week.  That way we can keep up with the fresh fruits and veggies that we love.

Doug and I are excited to be finished with the Whole30, but a little nervous that we will slide back into our old ways.  We both are committing to certain things and plan to keep many of our meals pretty close to Whole30 compliant.

This is what we ate this week:

Monday: Pork and Apples

This was super easy and had great flavor.  Sauteed red onions are a favorite!

Pork and apples

Tuesday: Chicken Cacciatore from Whole30 Book

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Wednesday: Roasted Tomato Soup by the WholeSmiths

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Thursday: Lazy Kebabs

We ran out of time while making dinner so we skipped the skewers and just grilled everything instead.  It was perfect!

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Friday: Dinner OUT (!!) at the Acropolis

We finally ate at a restaurant! We were not in the mood to cook so we took a risk and went to dinner at the Acropolis.  It was so temping to eat everything that wasn’t compliant, but we did really well.  I had a Greek Salad with chicken (no feta) and Doug had kebabs and grilled veggies.  Whole30 purists might freak out about this because we did not know what type of oil the food was cooked in, but we made the best choices possible and it was amazing!

Saturday: Chili from the Whole30 Book.  Here are a few other options.

Chili is our new staple because it is an easy lunch option or a lazy dinner.  Kid approved!  You can play with your recipe a lot.  This one had a red, yellow, and green pepper and I added sweet potatoes.  I season with cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, onion power, garlic powder, and a few red pepper flakes. Two cans of diced tomatoes and tomato paste and you let it simmer.  So easy!

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Sunday: Bacon wrapped scallops and asparagus

Doug came home with scallops and bacon and made the most delicious dinner.  He grilled a ton of chicken so we would have lots of options for lunches during the week.  I also found little drummies and wings so Doug could feel like he was enjoying a football Sunday treat.

LaCroix has been our new obsession.  I had liked them before but Doug though they were too bitter.  He bought coconut and key lime.  I was very skeptical.  Let me tell you, they are both delicious!  Dare I say that they even taste sweet?  I guess your taste buds really change when you only consume naturally occurring sugar.

That’s it!  One more week to go!

With Love,

Jenna

Whole30-Week 2

We started the week strong.  Doug and I were feeling awesome on Monday.  Lots of energy and confidence about food prep and planning. We even had an open house and pasta dinner at the boys’ school and I was on it so we packed and brought our own dinner.

On Tuesday, we were still feeling really good. But, the kids started getting a stomach bug.  This started many days of sickness.  One kid would seems to get better and the other one would seem sicker and then they would switch.  We watched movies and tried to lay low and recuperate.

The rest of the week was pretty similar.  Doug and I felt like we finally had our minds in the right place with what we were eating.  We weren’t craving food anymore.  We both felt fuller and even felt like our portions got back to normal. I didn’t need an evening snack. We were not feeling the spikes and lows of sugar.  We felt like we could do this.  We both noticed an alertness, a mental clarity, and just a sense of calm.  We were more patient with the kids and each other and felt healthy, not bloated or grouchy.  It also didn’t hurt that all of our clothes were fitting way better, too.

Being stuck in the land of the sick children wasn’t too bad.  Their low energy made making dinner a little bit easier.  I have found that moving up my dinner cooking time made meals a lot easier.  We eat dinner at 6pm since the kids are in bed by 7. Instead of waiting until 5 to begin dinner, I start at 4. That way I have plenty of time to read the recipe a few times or chop up the ingredients needed.  If I’m feeling extra organized, I might chop up all the ingredients while the kids are napping.

I really recommend the cookbook.  I have been using it a ton and it is nice to have a physical cookbook to refer to instead of pulling out my phone or tablet.  The variety of meal ideas is really good and everything is pretty simple.

One of the struggles of having sick children (or, maybe just having children in general) is that your sleep is constantly interrupted.  Nighttime with sick children is even worse. Fevers tend to spike or puke happens or they just can’t stop coughing.  We have not seen a full night of sleep all week long.  We had been feeling super rested prior to the sickness and we both found that we fall asleep easier…this was never a problem for Doug. The Whole30 does make a point that you should be getting an appropriate amount of sleep while following the program.  Obviously, loosing sleep can have major health implications. When you are looking for changes, you have to be sure that you are doing everything you can to help the program work its magic.

I also read a funny tidbit that when people start the Whole30, the program suddenly becomes the scapegoat for all ills.  My head hurts, it must be the Whole30. I can’t find my phone, it must be the Whole30. My kids are sick, it must be the Whole30.  I thought this was fitting because this was definitely us all week long.  Blame it on the Whole30.

Thursday night I went to bed feeling a little uneasy.  Sure enough, I spent the night puking my guts out.  I woke up Friday and felt so awful. The first thing I said to Doug was that I didn’t want to fail on the Whole30, but I NEEDED some crackers and ginger ale.  The day was rough.  I ate crackers and ginger ale.  Day 12 and I was breaking the rules.

When I was finally feeling better I debated if I should even stick with the program.  What was the point? I ate non-compliant food (for a very good reason, so I wasn’t disappointed in myself, more just frustrated that I had made it so far to then have a stomach bug ruin my progress).  My results will be skewed since I did not follow the program 100%.  But, the more I thought about why we were doing this, I realized that it wasn’t about perfection.  That’s life. Nothing ever goes the way we plan.  We had been seeing some awesome Non-Scale Victories (NSVs) and the whole point was about eating healthy.  If nothing else, I needed to stick with it for Doug.  It would be so much harder (physically and mentally) if we didn’t eat the same things.  He needed me to be a support in the process and I want him to be healthy too.  I decided to stay with the plan and I am feeling so much better.

This week I started It starts with Food.  I am interested in the science and the ‘why’ behind the program. I am motivated by understanding the deeper impact that the food we are eating (and not eating) is having on our bodies.  It helps me to understand how much sugar and food without breaks really hurts you over time.  I don’t think we often stop and think intentionally about our food, but this program does.  And, it really challenges you to be in control of your food choices instead of allowing food to own you.

Link to Amazon

I recommend reading this book first as it provides a ton information.  But, if that isn’t your cup of tea or you just don’t have time, the website or the cookbook are perfectly good sources to get you started.  I said it last time, but the Facebook and Instagram Whole30 groups are awesome.  Whole30 for beginners is a great place to ask questions and get support.

Here are our meals:

Monday: Salmon (salt, pepper, EVOO and lemon in tin foil in the oven), sauteed zuccini and yellow squash, with a baked sweet potato.

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Tuesday: Marinade Steak, green beans, and cauliflower rice (Page 272 from from the Whole30 Cookbook)

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Wednesday: Stir Fry (Page 340 from Whole30 Cookbook)

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Thursday: Shepherd’s Pie (Page 350 from Whole30 Cookbook)

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Friday: Chicken Soup. Doug made this so I have no idea what he did. Bless him.

Saturday: Pulled Pork, roasted potatoes and green beans.  I made 5 pound of pork so we would have left overs.  I used the ketchup recipe from the Whole30 Cookbook to add more flavor after pulling it.  I put it back in the crock-pot for about an hour.

Sunday: Left overs and salad

We are halfway there!  Come on Tiger Blood!

With Love,

Jenna